“They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”” (Genesis 11:4, NASB95)
Many of us join groups or organizations for a varied number of reasons. Most times, a person joins in with others to satisfy some type of need on the part of the individual. There are some things that can be accomplished by a single person’s efforts; yet there can be much more success when there is a group of persons working towards a common goal. Even the Bible speaks of the significance of working together – Ecclesiastes 4:9 declares that “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.”
However, we need to be mindful of why we are joining what we are joining and doing what we are doing! Genesis 11 begins with the story of the Tower of Babel. Some of you may be familiar with the story but do we recognize what went wrong? Was it that God did not want the sons of men to build? What is that He did not want them to work together? Is it that He did not want man to have notoriety?
The answer lies in the latter part of verse 4: “…otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” To NOT want to be scattered was in direct opposition of the mandate given to Adam and Eve by God in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.””
What this passage also reveals is a group of people attempting to gain power with means other than through God! This is akin to the taking of the fruit by Eve in Genesis 3:6 in order to gain more than what she believed she was already getting from God! Isn’t it amazing that the temptations that we deal with today are nothing new before God – He’s seen it all before!!
If there was no scattering, the promised blessing of God on all of man would not have been realized. While the sons of men believed that the building of the tower would hold them together, it was the MOTIVE of their heart that helped to tear them apart. What is the intent of your heart today (no matter what church, group or organization that you are in)? Are you in it to make YOURSELF a name or to help make GOD’S NAME great?